Chickens are at home comfortably roosting after a late-night shake-up that left Uber CEO Travis Kalanick out of a job. The news broke just after 10 p.m. PT Tuesday, leaving us wondering which straw finally broke the back of the Silicon Valley’s most scandal-plagued founder and CEO.
While Kalanick technically resigned, in reality he was forced to resign — because people of a certain degree of wealth do not get “fired”. To clear up any confusion, let’s take a ride through the reasons Kalanick’s bad reviews became too much to bear.
1 – Richer Guys Than Travis Wanted Him Out
This is the only thing that really can get a Silicon Valley founder bro dismissed from a job, and according to the New York Times that is exactly what happened here. “Earlier on Tuesday, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that the chief executive resign immediately,” writes the Times’ Mike Isaac. “The investors wrote to Mr. Kalanick that he must immediately leave and that the company needed a change in leadership. Mr. Kalanick, 40, consulted with at least one Uber board member and after long discussions with some of the investors, he agreed to step down”
2 – Uber Had To Fire A Bunch of People for PR Reasons
Uber was already in the process of firing a bunch of executives over a mounting myriad of scandals. Getting rid of the person in charge is the Public Relations 101 maneuver to move public attention on to something else.
3 – Lots Of Rape Scandals
How many rape scandals does it take to get a CEO out of his job? Ideally, one. But the website Who’s Driving You has aggregated more than 200 sexual assault scandals with rideshare drivers, most of them committed by Uber contractors. The most conspicuous of these scandals ended being when Uber executive Eric Alexander inappropriately obtained the medical records of a rape victim in India in an attempt to discredit her claims.
4 – Not To Mention All the Sexual Harassment
The whistleblowing claims ex-Uber engineer Susan Fowler got the most attention of the many ways the company’s female employees face a hostile workplace, but let’s not forget the time Kalanick took executives to an escort bar where women wore numbers for men to choose them. In a 2014 GQ interview, Kalanick claimed his job got him so much action that he nicknamed the company “Boob-er”. He said that to a reporter.
5 – Google Is Suing the Pants Off Uber
Sexual harassment scandals should be enough to get any executive fired, but this is Silicon Valley. Investors are way more concerned if Google is taking you to court, which in the case of Uber they were over the alleged theft of self-driving car technology.
6 – Caught On Video Berating a Driver
On Super Bowl Sunday of this year, a video of Kalanick cursing out one of his own drivers became public, because the CEO of a rideshare firm could not recognize that dashboard cam was present in the car.
7 – Dangerous Self-Driving Cars
8 – Ripping Off Both Drivers and Customers
9 – The Trump Thing
Kalanick joined President Donald Trump’s economic advisory team, but then quickly stepped down when his own employees revolted against the idea.
10 – #DeleteUber
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of customers who joined the #DeleteUber movement and deleted your Uber account, you get a special place on this list. Travis Kalanick is out of a job, in part, because of people like you.